The NSW government has kicked in AU$5 million for NNNCo to build out a LoRa IoT network to support Newcastle’s smart city project.

The National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo) will be building out a commercial-grade Internet of Things (IoT) network across Newcastle to enable smart cities applications, it has announced.

NNNCo said it was chosen by Newcastle City Council at the start of this year after a competitive tender process, and will spend the next six weeks deploying a long-range wide-area network (LoRaWANTM) as a result.

NNNCo CEO Rob Zagarella is hoping for the project to lead to similar rollouts across other Australian cities and regions.

“Working with Newcastle will enable us to guide other cities to transform their services and infrastructure through carrier-grade LoRaWAN IoT networks and enable these networks to grow across the country,” Zagarella said on Tuesday.

“LoRaWAN’s capabilities are extremely well suited to smart city requirements, and the technology is already used in cities across Europe and the US, where it’s proven to be reliable, secure, and affordable at scale.

“Being a global open standard technology also provides the capability to build an ecosystem over time rather than a silo solution.”

City Council Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the project will “confirm” Newcastle’s smart city leadership after adopting a strategy in July last year, with NNNCo’s network to enable the connectivity of smart parking, lighting, transport, and waste-management systems.

“By investing in this infrastructure, we will provide a platform for community groups, education and research providers, industry, businesses, and entrepreneurs to develop their own smart applications and ideas,” Nelmes said.

“Our smart city strategy is supporting a city-wide revitalisation and regional transformation by encouraging innovation and creativity across all sectors to promote economic growth and diversity.”

The New South Wales government has kicked in AU$4.98 million for the project.

Newcastle had also won the second-largest federal government grant for smart cities projects, scoring AU$5 million at the end of last year alongside its co-contribution of more than AU$10 million for Smart Move Newcastle: Intelligent Mobility, Energy, and Data Networks.

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